A 16-year-old Tremper High School student has been arrested and is being held in juvenile detention pending charges of making a terrorist threat.
The student was taken into custody on Thursday night.
Sgt. Matt Strelow said Kenosha Police learned at about 6:30 p.m. about a threat made during the school day. “A student reported it and we were able to find the witness, identify the suspect, then we located the suspect later in the evening and took him into custody.”
Strelow said the incident began with the 16-year-old student making a verbal threat during the school day.
“The witness heard the suspect say he wanted to shoot a female student and her father because they were involved in another legal incident,” Strelow said. “The witness also heard the suspect say he was going to shoot up the school (Friday), and he had a pocket knife in his hand when he was saying this.”
According to Strelow, the witness did not report the threat. Instead, students began to discuss the incident on social media later in the day, leading to the report to police after the school day ended.
“A student who heard about the threat through social media was concerned because of the rumors going around, reported the threat and we were able to track it back to the source,” he said.
He said police were referring juvenile charges of making a terrorist threat and carrying a concealed weapon in school.
At the same time Kenosha Police were investigating the threat at Tremper, they were also investigating a threat at Bradford High School. There, a staff member reported hearing someone in the school parking lot shout about a shooting threat. Police investigated, spoke to multiple students and found no one else who heard a threat. That incident was determined to be unfounded.
On Wednesday, Salem School was on lockdown for two hours while Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department deputies investigated a hand-written shooting threat left in a school bathroom. Deputies are still investigating that incident.
Tanya Ruder, district spokeswoman, said an automated call went out to parents late Thursday. The message said a shooting threat was “circulating on social media” and that, “upon learning of the threat, administration immediately launched an investigation in conjunction with the Kenosha Police Department.
“We want you to know that this threat is being taken seriously, and the Kenosha Police Department is working to locate the person responsible as quickly as possible.”
The message goes on to say that such threats, real or false, are considered felonies.
“Please tell your child that any form of threat against the school, staff or students will be taken seriously, and disciplinary action will be imposed if they are guilty of such threats.”